Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC, are plotting to assassinate former president Alvaro Uribe, the country’s defense minister said Tuesday.
Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon told press that he had met with Uribe to inform him of the nearly 50-year-old rebel group’s alleged intention to kill the former head of state, who has been one of Colombia’s most vocal opponents of ongoing peace talks with the guerrillas.
PROFILE: Alvaro Uribe
“As instructed by President Juan Manuel Santos, I, together with Police director General Rodolfo Palomino, met with former president Alvaro Uribe to inform him of a detected plan to make an attempt on his life,” said Pinzon.
The minister accused the FARC’s Teofilo Forero Mobile Column of the alleged assassination plot.
Consequently, Santos ordered the formation of a 300-men unit in charge of protecting the former president and his immediate family, said Pinzon.
The revelation of the plot followed the arrest and release of a guerrilla dubbed “Caremango” (Mango face) who according to newspaper El Espectador is now accused of being behind the alleged assassination plans.
The FARC — to the disapproval of Uribe — has been involved in peace talks with the Santos administration since November last year. Both the rebels and the military continue to carry out military operations as the parties could not agree on a ceasefire for the duration of the negotiations.
Uribe, who plans to run for senate in March next year, opposes the talks and has argued that the government should negotiate a unilateral ceasefire before negotiating a peace deal. On Twitter, the former head of state accused the government and the FARC of plotting a bilateral ceasefire for a “political trap” aiming at the reelection of Santos next year.
Terrorista Farc prepara tregua navideña para causar engaño político y reelegir al Pte Santos
— Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) November 11, 2013
Uribe did not make a public statement regarding the alleged assassination plan.
- Press release Defense Ministry